Release Date: December 11, 2013
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Wei-Loon Leong, a double alumnus of the University at Buffalo, has returned to Buffalo from China eight years after his graduation to be the university’s first director of international alumni relations.
Leong brings with him expertise in international education marketing, project management and business development and has a global perspective that he says will help him deal with the many different experiences, cultures and values that prevail among UB’s 230,000 graduates from more than 130 countries.
A native of Malaysia, he earned a BS in electrical engineering from UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 2003, and an MBA from the UB School of Management in 2005. Since his graduation he has helped with the expansion of an American manufacturing operation to China, and held management positions at a major international school in Beijing, where the market is competitive and dynamic.
During that time, he also served in a voluntary capacity for the UB Office of International Education as its China liaison for student recruitment and alumni development.
Leong will report to Nancy Wells, vice president for development and alumni relations at UB. In his new position he will work to strengthen relationships between UB and its overseas alumni constituencies in support of the university’s recruitment, development, research and teaching efforts, and also will work to open up internship, research and career opportunities for the graduates who will be UB’s new alumni.
“His experience and notable skill will permit him to make vital contributions to our work in all of these areas and we are delighted to have him,” says Wells.
Stephen Dunnett, vice provost for international education also praises his unique skill set. “Wei Loon also has extensive experience in Asia, where most of our international alumni live; familiarity with the UB Alumni Association; and is well prepared to advance our alumni and development efforts overseas,” he said.
Leong says the job is just what he hoped for.
“After eight years working in Beijing, my wife Xiaoli and I were looking for a place to settle down and raise a family,” he says.
“Like many professionals living in Beijing, we lived in a high-rise apartment for many years. Buffalo has a very different environment, but one we were seeking. There are many comfortable homes with lawns, yards with lots of kids running around outside. It reminds me of how I grew up, and that is very appealing,” Leong says.
“There is appeal, too, in Buffalo’s economic metamorphosis and the fact that much of it evolved out of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and the new medical school. Things are changing here and UB has been an impetus, but the city is still manageable for its residents.”
Leong says he was impressed as well that the UB strategic plan “Realizing UB 2020” recognizes that the challenges and opportunities faced by this university are determined in part by the larger forces taking shape on the national and global levels.
“The fact that one of the UB 2020 goals is to enhance the visibility, value and reputation of UB at the international level means that the full force of the university will be behind our international alumni efforts,” he says.
“So it is with gratitude and appreciation towards UB, which helped me become who I am today, that I was pleased to return and serve my alma mater. I believe in the future success of UB and the potential UB has globally,” he says.